For all student safety needs, Texas A&M offers an abundance of resources to ensure concerns are met for students to feel safe on campus.
With phone numbers located on the back of all Aggie ID cards, there are a variety of safety resources available for student use, including the CARPOOL rideshare service, the Corps of Cadets Corps Escort Service and the University Police Department, or UPD.
For a safe and free ride home, the student-run CARPOOL service offers non-judgemental transportation home on Friday and Saturday nights from 10 p.m. to 3 a.m to anyone within the Bryan-College Station area. CARPOOL chair Wyatt Kiel said the service strives to create a safe environment for students and community members alike to reduce the number of drunk drivers on the road.
Unlike traditional rideshare programs, CARPOOL will not take students to Northgate or parties but rather serves as a ride which will take you to a safe place after a night out, including apartments, homes and dorms.
“What you'll do is give us a quick phone call and we'll ask for information like, ‘How many people you have [in your party]?’ ‘What's your name?’ ‘What's your phone number?’ and then you get put on our waitlist,” Kiel said.
After getting on the waitlist, CARPOOL patrons will wait their turn for a car to pick them up at the desired location in the order of which they called.
“We just go down our waitlist and give people rides,” Kiel said. “So, if you're on the waitlist at number seven, you have to wait for the six people in front of you to get off the waitlist before we get to [your ride]."
Kiel said you do not have to be intoxicated to take advantage of these services.
“Our main purpose is to remove drinking and driving in College Station and Bryan,” Kiel said. “We're also here to help people in case they get stuck off campus, or if you get stranded somewhere in the Bryan-College Station area.”
Due to COVID-19 protocols, as of presstime there will not be a booth set up on Northgate as there was pre-pandemic. Instead, individuals wanting a ride from Northgate should call the CARPOOL number to schedule a ride. Riders will meet their driver in the parking lot behind the Dixie Chicken.
For students, faculty or staff walking on campus late at night, the Corps of Cadets offers the Corps Escorts program, with which students can call for a member of the Corps to meet the caller and walk them to their desired destination on campus.
“Any time school is in session, an outfit in the Corps will be [available for escorts],” Corps Operation Officer Matt Caputo said. “If you were anywhere on campus, [and wish to be] escorted somewhere, we will send a cadet out, wherever you are, to walk you back to your dorm or to your car, wherever you need to go, just to make sure you can feel safe on campus.”
Each outfit in the Corps is given shifts where cadets take turns ensuring patrons return safely to their destinations. To get service, patrons should call the Corps Escorts number where they will be asked to provide their name, their current location, their desired location and an identifying feature. Caputo said the feature can be anything from the color shirt the caller is wearing, their hair color or a distinguishing feature on one’s backpack.
“Once [the cadet] gets there, they check in with the person to make sure that they have the right person and they take you to your actual location [where] you'll be given a little receipt from the cadet,” Caputo said. “[The receipt just ensures that] you got back to your place safely. We give a receipt to the person that got escorted, and we keep receipts on our end just to make sure that everything's good. Everyone knows that everyone returned back to their destination safely.”
Caputo said he encourages students to use the Corps Escort program if they are feeling uneasy or just don’t want to venture across campus alone. Additionally, Caputo said the cadets enjoy getting to help other Aggies on campus.
“We really, really encourage anyone that wants to just walk home safely, just call that number and get an escort,” Caputo said. “Especially in the fall, it's really a great time to get freshmen cadets out and to meet people.”
University Police Department
The University Police Department offers educational programs for students and community members, including a generalized safety program, and a drug and alcohol program which is popular with resident halls.
“Typically we provide [participants] with many types of personal safety tips [during these sessions],” Sgt. Jennifer Enloe said. “We broke it down in that we talked about social media, we talked about being aware of surroundings and just general guidelines to staying safe in Brazos county, not just while you're walking around at Texas A&M, because there are no walls that prevent this from going anywhere else.”
Enloe said in the courses, the programs typically touch on parking, theft and burglary prevention and what it looks like to visit Northgate, which many freshmen and newly 21-year-olds like to visit.
To prevent bicycle thefts, Enloe said UPD offers free property engravings of individual’s driver’s licence numbers, which allow for easier identification of lost or stolen property.
“It's ideal for everyone to write down serial numbers of valuable items, but what we see a lot of times is people either don't want to do that, don't have the time to do that or just forget to do it,” Enloe said. “We can enter that into our database where if you're a police officer in Houston, and you see a driver's license number on it, you know that the property more than likely belongs to that driver's license.”
Enloe said UPD also educates students about Texas laws, including bicycle laws.
“We have a brochure that goes over just basic Texas laws because a lot of people don't realize that bicycles in the state of Texas are treated like a vehicle,” Enloe said.
UPD has also offered programs which teach community members how to react during an active threat, and Enloe said UPD is working to develop a stop the bleed training.
“That's a program that follows up with active threats,” Enloe said. “What happens after the threat has happened, [where] a person or yourself becomes injured, how do you help that situation because you can survive those threats. We just need the proper education to know what to do with that.”
Enloe said UPD will be offering a self defense class during the fall semester with the option of attending the women’s, men’s or all-inclusive classes.
“We are currently revamping this course,” Enloe said. “We're tossing around some ideas of incorporating what happens after you have to use self defense, what's the legal ramifications of that, what does it look like for the victim, so that's going to be kind of an interesting deal of how we're going to incorporate all that.”
As for general safety, Enloe said if someone feels something isn’t right or seems suspicious, they should contact UPD.
“We do need citizens, Aggies and everybody else in this area to help us watch to make sure that we all stay safe,” Enloe said. “Because it's a college town, there's always movement, always keep a friend around, don't leave your friends if you go out drinking, make sure that you guys stay together, somebody needs to stay sober, so that we can know that you can keep your group of friends together and just keep aware of your surroundings.”